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Tips to Help Steer Clear of Common Household Accidents

When it comes to avoiding household accidents, an ounce of prevention is often worth a pound of cure. Fortunately, just knowing about some of the most common household perils is a solid first step to avoiding them completely.

Here’s a look at several of the most common accidents that occur at home and several tips to prevent these scenarios before they occur.

Household Accident #1: Slips and Falls

Accidental falls are the most common type of accident for Americans at home, according to the National Library of Medicine at the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The Center also says that many falls are associated with age and overcrowding. In other words, older individuals are most likely to fall and hurt themselves, while improper housing design and accessibility also played a role.

Prevention Tip: With many accidental falls happening during the evening and early morning hours according to the National Library of Medicine, consider the installation of lightning in and around the higher-risk areas of your home, like stairways and halls. Also consider removing tripping hazards such as area rugs and other clutter in heavy traffic areas.

Household Accident #2: Cuts

Accidental cuts are also common in the home, with many taking place during food preparation. Improper use of knives and the use of dull knives that don’t work properly are some of the biggest contributing factors.

Prevention Tip: Avoid cuts during food preparation by keeping knives sharp and storing them in a cutting block when not in use. Always use a cutting board, and never walk around with a knife in your hand. When giving a knife to someone, agree to a key word before letting go of the knife. A common one is say thank you when you have received the knife. Also review kitchen prep videos for safe hints in cutting food.

Household Accident #3: Poisoning

Poisoning is the leading cause of accidental deaths at home, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). While adults can accidentally ingest dangerous substances, children are especially at risk if they have access to unlocked cabinets and drawers.

Prevention Tip: Keep cabinets that contain harmful chemicals, and both prescription and non-prescription drugs, secure with a lock and key. Also install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and test them once a month. And poisons related to fire can be managed by having an escape plan. Visit for more fire safety tips.

Household Accident #4: Drowning

Among children under the age of 15, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death according to the NSC. The Centers for Disease Control also reports that 4,000 drowning deaths take place within American homes every year, and that more children ages 1 to 4 die from drowning than from any other cause.

Prevention Tip: Always supervise children and others who cannot swim when near bodies of water. Also consider building fences that fully enclose pools. Other preventative tips include the use of a life jacket, learning CPR, and avoiding alcohol before and during time spent in the water. Also remember that children can drown in as little as one inch of water, often happening quickly and silently. So use the buddy system when around water and never leave the little ones in a bath tub without an adult present.

You can prevent many home accidents and injuries by staying vigilant and being knowledgeable about the risks that exist.